The Bavarian Forest National Park recently built a towering, egg-shaped vantage point called the Tree Top Walk, a 150 foot high open air lookout built around three massive fir trees each measuring 125 feet around. From the top, visitors can take in sweeping views of the surrounding mountain ranges, including the northern Alps on a clear day, but the really significant part of the structure is its accessibility. Yes, there's an elevator to shoot children and those with disabilities straight up, but because the circular walkway winds at a steady, smooth incline like the Guggenheim's rotunda, everyone can amble around the 4,250 foot long path to the platform that sits above the tops of the fir trees.
For those craving a little more adventure, there are three stations with unprotected, unscreened wooden bridges, rope bridges and other challenges. And because this is in Germany, there's a restaurant and beer garden at the top where you can wash down a plate of wiener schnitzel with a pint or warm up on a winter's day with a cup of a tea with rum. A scenic treetop walk followed by a crisp beer in the middle of the woods - Germans do hiking right. Good thing there's an elevator for the way down.
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